DIY & Crafts

How to make a memory book

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

How to make a memory book

These handmade books are versatile, easy to make gifts.

Use one to display mementoes from that trip you took with the bride-to-be.

Glue in a collection of Mom's tried-and-true recipes for the high school grad who'll be leaving for university soon.

Or pass one around at a baby shower, and gather some advice for the mom-to-be.

However you fill this little accordian-style book, it's sure to be a hit.

See a large photo of the finished project here.


You need:
• 1 strip 16 x 45 cm (6-1/2- x 18-inch) heavy plain paper, such as watercolour paper*
• 1 strip 16 x 46 cm (6-1/2- x 18-1/2-inch) heavy plain paper, such as watercolour paper*
• 2 sheets 23 x 28 cm (9- x 11-inch) decorative paper, such as wrapping paper*
• 2 pieces 12 x 18 cm (5- x 7-inch) grey board (or other 3 mm/1/8-inch-thick cardboard, such as matte board)*
• Cork-backed metal ruler
• Pencil
• Bone folder*
• Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue*
• Paintbrush
• Flat weight, such as heavy books
• X-acto or small utility knife
• Waxed paper and printer paper
• Glue stick, and adhesive photo corners (if desired)
• Ribbon, string or decorative trim
*available at specialty paper or art-supply stores

You can find some helpful step-by-step photos here.

To make:
1.
Lay shorter strip of paper lengthwise on work surface. Use pencil and ruler to mark fold lines at top and bottom of sheet at halfway point (23 cm/9 inches from left side). Flip and repeat, marking sheet at 11 cm (4-1/2 inches) and 34 cm (13-1/2 inches) from left side. Repeat with longer strip of paper, adding second set of marks on first side, 45 cm (18 inches) from left side, for joining flap.

2. Align ruler with first set of marks on one strip; lightly score fold line by running tip of bone folder along edge of ruler [A - see step-by-step photos]. Repeat for each set of marks on first side, then flip paper and repeat. Carefully fold paper (with score marks on inside of fold) to form accordian-style folds. Repeat with second strip.

3.
Using paintbrush, apply thin layer of glue to inside of joining flap on longer strip. Join strips, positioning joining flap behind one end of shorter strip. Set aside, stacking flat weight on top of paper; let dry for 10 minutes.

Page 1 of 2 -- Finish your handmade memory book, perfect as a gift for friends and family, with instructions on page 2

Step-by-step memory book instructions

4. Centre 1 piece of grey board on 1 sheet of decorative paper; with pencil, trace around board. Set board aside.

With ruler, mark diagonal cut line across each corner of decorative paper, 5 mm (1/4 inch) from each corner point of inner rectangle; using X-acto knife, trim corners. Repeat with second sheet of decorative paper.

5. Working on sheet of waxed paper and using paintbrush, apply thin, even layer of glue to 1 sheet of decorative paper; place piece of grey board in centre. Using ruler to help lift edges, fold two short sides of paper over grey board and press firmly.

Tuck in corners [B], then fold over remaining two sides, pressing firmly. Repeat with second sheet of decorative paper and second piece of grey board. Stack covers between sheets of printer paper (to absorb excess moisture) and let dry under flat weight for 20 minutes.

Related craft: 
How to write a keepsake family memoir

6. Place sheet of waxed paper under top sheet of accordian-folded pages and, using paint brush, apply thin, even layer of glue. Using both hands, pick up inner pages and carefully centre glued sheet on wrong side of one of the covers; press firmly in place [C]. Repeat with back page and back cover. Let dry under flat weight for 20 minutes.

7. Fill book as desired, using glue stick or adhesive photo corners. Wrap with ribbon and tie closed.

Designer's note
I chose to make this book 12 x 18 cm (5 x 7 inches), the perfect size for displaying standard 10 x 15 cm (4- x 6-inch) photographs. You can make your book any size or shape by adjusting the size of the materials you use.

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This story was originally titled "For Keeps' Sake" in the June 2010 issue.

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How to make a memory book

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